Mornings can be a little chaotic to say the least! In fact, in our house, with Hannah’s ice skating schedule, our mornings often begin with the alarm going off at 3:30 am – and that’s not just for me. Everyone has to get up and get going!
Getting kids organized and moving in the morning can be hard when everyone is tired and cranky. With a little preparation the night before – or even once a week – mornings can be painless!
7 Tips for a Less Stressful Morning
1. Prep lunches ahead. Either once a week or nightly while you whip up dinner prep packed lunches so they are ready to go in the morning. You can even store most lunches in the freezer all the way down to chips. The lunch will act as it’s own ice pack and you just have to grab and go in the morning.
2. Check for backpacks, shoes, and homework before bed. Without the stress of looking for these things in the morning things so so much smoother. Setting up a box in the bathroom with each person’s hygiene products, hair brush, and other needs is a great way to streamline morning hygiene rituals as well.
3. Create a command center. You know, a place for your keys, your calendar, to do lists, and other must haves to make your life easier when it’s time to get out the door. Everything should be visible with a quick glance so you know what you need to do each day.
4. Prep breakfasts the night before. While you’re prepping lunches you can get breakfast ready for the next morning as well. Most foods can be reheated in the morning for a hearty hot meal that you do not have to cook. Scrambled eggs, pancakes, and french toast all store and reheat well for busy mornings. You can even pack them in microwavable containers that children can reheat themselves as they come down for breakfast. This is a life saver!
5. Give your child a check list for the morning. For young kids a visual list is a great way to get them to complete routine tasks from brushing teeth to making their own bed. Keeping kids on task without yelling makes mornings more pleasant. Visual quest reduce fighting by allowing children to know what the need to do next without nagging.
6. Build routines for you and your family for bedtime. When children get enough sleep they are more likely to wake up and get moving without a fight. That extra few minutes to go in and out of sleep for a gentler wake up.
7. Start a bit early. Set an alarm for a bit before everyone HAS to get up – unless you’re getting up at 3:30 am like us! Don’t tell your kids you’re doing this. Just do it. By setting the alarm early you have time for them to resist and hit snooze.